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The Magpie

Saturday, October 6th, 2018   |   157 comments

Barry Taylor’s Enema Legal Gets Flushed Right Down The Drain: Bazza’s Bullying Tactic Thrown Out By Appeals Court.

If he wasn’t such a bombastic prick, you’d almost be tempted to feel sorry for legal foghorn Bazza Taylor. After the Supreme Court recently gave him an expensive kick in the goolies for fee gouging a client, he’s now had an attempt to legally bully The Magpie and his daughter thrown out on appeal. The ‘Pie  reports the details.

On the local front, Les Messagebank Walker goes even more bizarro, suggesting business people ‘love’ – yes, his word – being charged twice for a simple job bungled by the council. We examine his bizarre conclusion.

Not so much a whitewash as maybe a blue rinse? Bush fire brigade bureaucrats appear to have covered up the real reason why they have stood down two Bluewater/Toolakea bush brigade officers – one suspected of arson by a local landholder. The official story so far doesn’t make sense.

And vale Ron ‘Won’ Casey, who died during the week … The Magpie shares his  bittersweet memories of working with the man best remembered for clocking pop star Normie Rowe on live television.

But first …

What Lurks Beneath …

It may not be widely known, but our resident ‘toonist Bentley is a boat man from way back, a well regarded yachtie, even if he is starting to creak a little on the sheets (ropes to you landlubbers). So it is understandable that he is somewhat preoccupied with the proposed Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) proposed for waters off Townsville. By its nature, it will be a collection of statues only, as watercolours might tend to run a bit, and a collection of oils will have the Greenies up in arms.

But Bentley is worried about what hazards this may pose for unwary up above.

moua fin

What Aren’t We Being Told About Those ’Sackings’ At The Toolakea Rural Fire Brigade?

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 2.01.05 pm

A strange and clearly sympathetic interview in the Astonisher during the week raised more questions than it answered about possible serious and possibly criminal activity by members of the brigade. Former 1st officer Michael Cossens and his wife, Lorna, former 3rd officer, were ‘stood down’ (read sacked) from the Brigade after months of investigation into wide-ranging allegations of misconduct, including possible arson, and misuse of brigade equipment. But all the fire brigade bureaucrats have said – and apparently accepted by the Astonisher without question – is that Mr and Mrs Cossens had been ‘sanctioned for administrative matters’ – this palpable bullshit, because it  turns out to be some relatively piddling matter of not holding the brigade’s annual general meeting by due date – two years ago!

These fire brigade top brass must be taking lessons from the Townsville City Council … they must believe we are all bloody idiots. Not holding an AGM. by due date is surely knuckle-rapping territory, especially when it involves volunteers. But the Astonisher report, by Madura McCormack, wrote that ‘Five allegations have been levelled against the Cossens by the QFES, one being the failure to hold an annual general meeting by October 2017’, the but she does not bother to inquire or enlighten us what the four other charges concern and their possible outcome. Ms McCormack seems to be a new name at the Astonisher, so she may well have not been aware of the serious allegations levelled at Mr Cossens, and what appears to be his cavalier behaviour in other matters in the Bluewater/Toolakea area.

Well, she knows now. You will remember Cameron Richards, who featured in this blog several times regarding his allegations and formal complaints to the fire brigade HQ and the police regarding Mr Cossens’ behaviour towards his 77-year-old mother and local property owner, Sandra Richards. He has been patiently waiting for the outcome of an investigation by a Brisbane fire brigade bureaucrat who travelled to Townsville some  months ago to look into his claims, but was so incensed by the soft-soap developments this week, he has written to Ms McCormack, enlightening her some background.

Here is part of his letter.

Dear Madura,

I have good reason to believe you have been intentionally deceived about this story by a person who is facing possible criminal charges in relation to complaints made by mother in recent months but also by other parties as well. These complaints relate to admissions not denied by the person featured in the story (Michael Cossens) that since 2015 he has regularly acted to intimidate and harass people in the Northern Beaches area of Townsville (as well as undertake other activities that are the focus of complaints against him by at least several parties) in relation to misusing his RFS authority, uniform and vehicle whilst he has also or really been acting for a secretive overseas developers and their local representatives who appear to have a dodgy agenda in the area.

My 77 year old mother’s specific complaint is that Mr. Cossens so confronted her and threatened her two days before 7klms of her boundary fence on a property at Moongabulla were apparently  burnt down by Mr. Cossens misusing his RFS authority when boasting he was acting for her neighbours (who now are the overseas private developers who have designs on the whole Northern Beaches area of Townsville). We have accumulated enough supporting evidence since then to make a formal complaint to the police as well as RFS/QFES about this some months ago. The locally infamous bulldozing of a number of Toolakea beach shacks (as well as the apparent assault of the daughter of an 80 year old Vietnam War veteran with PTSD who owned one of these shacks) is a similar as well as related story. And there are more such accounts we are aware of. 

Since first complaining to the RFS and also the QFES we had been assured on two occasions that Mr. Cossins was in the process of being suspended and likely expelled from the RFS because he could not provide any reasonable explanation for his behaviour. One of those occasions was just few months ago when a high-level QFES investigator went to Townsville to follow up on complaints made. This was just before a controversial land clearance for the same developers was apparently organised by Mr. Cossens and he could not help boasting about this on the local television news.

So we can provide you with the email we sent the RFS and QFES to alert them about this and ask why they had not followed up as assured.  On 21st August we got an email from the Qld RFS Assistant Commissioner saying that an investigation had been completed, and that in light of that he wrote to us saying “I can advise that the RFS has removed Mr Cossens from holding an office bearing position position with the Brigade, and the RFS vehicle and equipment has been retrieved. Mr. Cossens has also been removed from holding the Deputy Fire Warden position”

You will have to admit that this is all a long way from merely being “sanctioned for administrative matters” as you have been informed or have written in our story. It is also worth noting that my mother was happy to see Mr. Cossens gone but unhappy that the RFS and QFES saw fit to close down a local RFS centre (we believe this may have been to avoid publicity by having to explain the real reason for Mr. Cossens departure). This is especially in relation to how my mother is herself (along with my recently departed father) both recipients of state awards for lifetime service to the RFS.

The Magpie has allowed this item to run to length although it does cover matters broached in detail in previous posts. But it clear there is much more to this than the Bulletin is willing to investigate or the management of the rural fire brigade is willing to release, so stay tuned here to keep up with any outcomes of interest.

You’ve Got To Hand It To Our Deputy Mayor: Messagebank Walker Certainly Has A Unique World View.

Deputy Doo Dah Les Messagebank Walker

Deputy Doo Dah Les Messagebank Walker

If the Disney people hear about him, they may sue Les Walker for plagiarising Goofy. One can’t be sure if Les realises that Mayor Mullet is setting him up as the fall guy on various matters which she doesn’t want to touch with a barge pole. He will be in the cross hairs when this pretend ‘bus hub’ is finally operational … all those years of political in-fighting and we end up getting a few sun shelters, and a road where a sorely needed CBD business used to trade. The mayor also let’s him take the running on other matters that may ultimately prove a bit embarrassing, including some sections of the water pipeline project.

But Messagebank’s crowning goofiness was on display at another council disaster during the week, the botched footpath work in Mooney Street. The council agreed that the initial work two or three months ago was a complete clusterfuck – well, they could hardly do otherwise – it was so sub-standard that heads should’ve rolled – if they did, no one was saying so. Local businesses screamed blue murder, the Daily Astonisher ran this …

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 9.37.27 pm

… leaving council little choice but to right the considerable wrong.

But now that the TCC blokes are back on the job doing an expensive make-good, Messagebank has been wheeled out with some truly inane commentary., The best quote: It’s no secret that council’s first attempt at fixing the footpath here on Mooney St wasn’t up to standard but we have come back to redo the job right – and local businesses love it.

They what???  Really?  That’s a intedesting assumption when we read on to see this: Speaking to the Bulletin in June, Gallon’s Automotive owner and mechanic Geoff Gallon said the initial work done was a complete waste of money. “It should have been done once and done right,” he said. The driveway to get into my workshop is so bad that I’ve poured concrete over it myself to get into the driveway.”

But once Les had put his gob into drive, there was no stopping him.

“This is just another example of a council project that is improving our suburbs and creating jobs for locals.”

Eh? How’s that creating jobs for locals, the blokes fixing up the fuck-up are already employed, and you can be sure no new hands were taken on. And the original botch-up was also by already employed locals.

Then as proof that Mayor Mullet could see massive downsides to being anywhere near this mini-catastrophe, she allowed the local councillor Maurie Soars off his leash to make an appearance, but he fared no better than Walker. Quote: “Local representative Cr Maurie Soars said the works had been received positively by local businesses and residents. “The quality of the work that is happening here is first class and there’s a lot of excitement about how it is going to enhance the streetscape, “ Clr Soars said.”

Christ, what drone wrote that little bit of drivel for you, mate? Well, Muzza, all we can assume is that folks out on Mooney Street are easily excited about things, but not half as excited as they would’ve been if the quality of the work had been ‘first class’ in the first place. Perhaps they’re excited of having to pay rates that are used to have the same work done twice.

Court Tells Barry Taylor ’Stop Bullying The Magpie’s Daughter’

Well, maybe not in those words, but that’s exactly the message from the Court of Appeals in a judgement just handed down in Brisbane.

Barry Big BazzaTaylor

A brief background: it seems there was a council of war at Bazza’s Noosa gin palace last year, with Peter ‘Typo’ Gleeson and his wife, Venesa, a mediocre solicitor working for Taylor’s Enema Legal (yeah, all right, it’s actually Emanate, but still…). Taylor has for more than a decade had a hatred of The Magpie for no known or perceived reason and had made occasional (usually drunken) empty threats to sue. And Gleeson, a touchy incompetent News executive with a long memory, has never forgiven The Magpie for making him apologise publicly to his daughter for workplace bullying.

So they came up with a scheme to find someone with a grievance against this blog, and use said person as a stalking horse to gain their own cowardly satisfaction. Bazza first approached Dolan Hayes, who, being no mug, told him to piss off. Then Rabieh Krayem was approached and fell for it, agreeing to whatever deal Taylor was offering to sue over some fairly inoccuous mentions here in the Nest.

Rabieh Krayem

RK issued court papers demanding $300,000 in damages (well, laugh? The ‘Pie almost popped a ploofer valve), fooled by reports of a damages award The ‘Pie himself had received from News Ltd for defamation.

It then became apparent that they’d made a boo boo, because just about all of the money The ‘Pie was awarded was already spoken for and disposed of, so they decided to join my daughter Joady in the action because they suspected this working mother and wife had been a benificiary and in this roundabout route, could disrupt everybody’s lives and well being, this being a major objective of these creeps. This would also serve as some revenge for Gleeson’s apology to Joady, which he still smarts about to this day. The spurious grounds offered was that Joady was ‘co-publisher’ simply because she had helped her father register the site when it was set up in 2010. This was a legally cynical move aimed more at distressing me than my hapless daughter, who has never had anything to do with this blog’s content – she doesn’t even know who comments are about, since she doesn’t and never has lived in Townsville … or in Queensland for that matter. She certainly never pressed the ‘publish’ button and, in truth, has little interest in the ramblings of her old man.

We challenged her involvement but the initial court hearing found that she was liable. However The Magpie’s solicitor and friend, Greg Humphries of Connolly Suthers, was quietly furious at this blatant attempt at bullying an innocent party for low ulterior motives, and appealed that decision. With barrister Tony Moon, they argued our case with the Appeals Court, who last week found that the original judge had erred in his reading of such social media responsibilities, and chucked out the whole Joady action. 

So now, it’s just Rabieh against The Magpie, and Barry’s unfortunate patsy is starting out behind the 8-ball on a couple of accounts. For a start, in a stand-by-her-man bit of idiocy, Vanesa Gleeson was tapped to run RK’s case, and she’s already lost round one, despite or maybe because of Bazza constantly looking over shoulder – a recipe for disaster in itself, one would think. Mrs Gleeson was also the solicitor in the Supreme Court fee gouging matter that Emanate was forced to settle out of court or face the real possibility of a severe public censure from the bench.

And even if this ever gets to trial (God, wish I could sell tickets) , RK will lose, one way or the other – if in the unlikely event that he wins, the best he will be able to do is spend further money and bankrupt the generally impecunious Magpie (and likely have to cough up tens of thousands in Barry’s costs because the loser (me)  can’t pay as required). And Bazza hates doing anything for nothing … not that he probably ever has.

If The Magpie wins, RK will be up for … what’s the technical term, ummm … ah, yes, ‘shitloads’ in costs for BOTH sides.

The ‘Pie could be excused for finding all this a tad tedious, but he is actually looking forward to getting into court, so you, Rabieh, can answer a few pointed questions on matters to which you have objected in this blog. Oh and there’ll be a new one added, from information of this week. Are you going to pay the $8000 you skipped out on and still owe North Queensland Football for ground rental when you were running the Fury?  Surely you’d agree that only a dud businessman would walk away from such a debt.

In Passing:

Re Daylight Saving. Premier Alphabet says she won’t be revisiting the issue, because ‘only 55%’ of Queenslanders favoured its introduction, a percentage which is a majority but one the premier mysteriously described as ‘irrelevant’.

Strange that 60% of the population in favour of same-sex marriage is an “overwhelming majority”, but 55% in favour of daylight saving is irrelevant.

Some You’ll Aways Remember:  Others You’ll Never Be Able Forget – Ron Casey Was A Bit Of Both


Sports broadcaster Ron ‘Won’ Casey died this week aged 89. He will now be ensconced in that uniquely Australian pantheon of larrikin public figures, a bloke you either loved or hated, there was no being indifferent to Ronald Arthur Casey, OAM.

Ron suffered from, or thrived on, what might be called a television version of footballer’s white line fever … a sort Les Boyd of TV. Both were perfectly agreeable reasonable, and often quietly considered off screen or pitch, but the moment they crossed that white touch line onto the public field, all restraint and ordinary discipline went by the board. Fortunately, Ron didn’t go in for Les’s eye-gouging and nut punching. But he could buy himself as much trouble in other ways.

Ron and The ‘Pie had … as they say … history.

As Ron’s television producer on two Sydney television stations over a decade, The ‘Pie knew Casey as an unpredictable work colleague and sometime friend. In 1977 at TCN 9, where I was senior news producer, I became so exasperated with Casey disrupting the newsroom with distracting behaviour as deadline approached, I called him a dickhead. He promptly walked out, and went home, minutes before due on air in the top rating weekend newscast.

I was hauled in front of News Director Mike Ramsden, who was brief in his admonishment. ‘We all know Ron’s a dickhead, but did you have to tell him? Don’t do it again.’ I didn’t and relations remained cool until I left to try my hand at business outside television. The incident caused much on-going locker room yukyukyuckery in TV circles, and five or six years later, I was back in TV, at TEN 10 sports, producing news sport when management suddenly hired Ron. There was a great deal of smirking anticipation because his walk-out and reasons for it were now legend, so when Ron arrived for his first weekend shift, he played up to the tattling, walking into the newsroom and shaping up to me like a boxer … then burst out laughing, and we shook hands. We got on well for the next three or four years.

Ron’s distinctive lisping delivery became a radio hallmark in the Sydney market at 2KY. I was by that time, executive producer at Radio 2UE, and the station had just signed the controversial rugby coach Alan Jones for his first stint in radio. Casey, a no-holds-barred- homophobe, played up to the rugby dissidents who loathed Jones  for what they were certain was his undeclared homosexuality. Rugby and Rugby League great Dick Thornett told me once that he knew Jones used his selection powers to get sexual favours from some younger players, getting them, in Dick’s words ‘to play the blue veined flute’. This of course was never proved and Jones to this day is undeclared in this and much of the rest of his private life. But Ron let fly on air publicly when the slightest opportunity presented itself, so on the morning of Jones’ highly publicised debut on 2UE, we were all monitoring Casey on 2KY breakfast.

Ron came on, and unexpectedly welcomed Jones to the ranks of broadcasters, and declared that he was willing to let bygones be bygones, wished him all the luck in his new career, and said to show his sincerity, he was dedicating the next song to him because he knew Alan would like it … he then played Abba’s Dancing Queen. Casey kept giggling through the rest of his show.

With admirable self control, Jones made out he didn’t get the jibe and thought it nice of Casey. But then, given further engagement with Jones , I found he didn’t really have  sense of humour that I could discern – so maybe he actually didn’t get it.

But I prefer to remember the more thoughtful and friendly Ron, who could talk most intelligently about current matters, especially sport (he been a champion swimmer in his youth).

I will always remember Ron … because a bloke like you never forget.

This Happened During The Week


This Week From Trumplvania




This bottle of whisky sold for a world record price

Costing £848,750 ($1.1m US), a bottle of Macallan Valerio Adami is the most expensive in the world. Only 12 bottles of the 60-year-old spirit with this particular design were released. Selling at auction in Edinburgh, the buyer’s identity is unknown.

And Finally, Has A Townsville Bulletin Sub Editor Been Moonlighting.



That’s it for another week, folks, everything almost back to normal (except the Magpie wallet), and comments are getting posted on all sorts of things 24/7, join in, serious or fun, it’s your blog, too.  And given the computer tribulations of the past week or so, a helping hand with the associated costs would be much appreciated, the how to donate button is below. And sincere thanks to those of you who have already helped out.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Narbloc says:

    I did the sum for my age and year of birth for next year and it’s the same deal 2019 go figure or perhaps I’m missing something.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ahem … the management of this blog takes no responsibility for errors made in unsub-able material submitted for publication.

      Oldest get out of jail in the book!!

      How are ya, old fella, coming good one trusts?

    • Mike Shearer says:

      The maths is quite simple:
      B = the year you were born
      C = the current year
      A = current age, which is c – b
      So your age plus the year you were born is (C-B)+B which is C.
      It’s not true only of 2018 but doubtless there are some who will believe it’s a 1000=year miracle and will predict the certain return of Jesus, or a meteor strike or every politician at all 3 levels of government will contract a terminal condition.

  2. Dave of Kelso says:

    Congratulations on the legal appeal.

    • The Magpie says:

      All congrats go to Greg H and Tony M … really principled guys that now make it very difficult for me to make generalised lawyer jokes.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        I agree Mr Pie. I have known Greg H for a long time and even shared a flat in the long ago mists of time. I can vouch he is indeed he a man of principles and a really decent bloke….and he does still appreciate a good lawyer joke so don’t hold back in that regard. (I make sure that I don’t whenever we catch up)!

      • Grumpy says:


  3. Crankie Frankie J says:

    DAYLIGHT SAVINGS YUK There are already several time zones in Australia…get used to it plus the world can never be on a common time zone so why change?

    Why interrupt your body clock unnecessarily when it has been stabilised for months on end? biggest problem for me was that I start work at 6am everyday, I always get up with a raging hardon at 5.30am so during the last couple of trials I was already at work for 30 minutes and didn’t know what to do with it.

    • The Magpie says:

      That’s a problem? Ah, memories …. but Angry At TCC might be able to help with instructions and technique, he’s an accomplished knobthrottler.

      • Angry at tcc says:

        Unfortunately you have made a typo in relation to your comment. Conciderding I’ve used several different carriages to comment on from different people’s phones there’s no real way you know who I am even though you have publicly stated in last week’s blog you have my identity. Your typo being ” he’s” a knobthrottler today. I am in fact a she. So I’d be very careful about your informants who tell you who others are on the blog. But don’t worry there are enough of us girls working with me for your informant to keep guessing. I’ll be telling the boys your watching there IP addresses coming in. I can’t do overtime by the way im on salary.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, that’s tellin’ the old bird … he is now ‘conciderding’ your advice about typos.
          And unless that is a red herring, The ‘Pie retracts his comment about throttling the knob, and will now regard you as a gal continually flipping the bean.

        • Felonious Gru says:

          What a dipshit.

          If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you would know that The ‘Pie (more likely The ‘Piette”) has previously outed dickheads using their IP address. Like the one moron who mocked Malcolm’s affliction using a News Corp IP address. Individuals can’t be identified, but obvious moles can.

          And…I’m willing to bet that you’re no sheila. Probably a bit further up the food chain than you care to admit. Those spelling and grammar errors appear to be just a little too contrived. If that red herring was any redder we would call it Ivan.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie had throat cancer resulting in the removal of his vocal cords. An ‘affliction’ sounds way too serious.

  4. Alahazbin says:

    That “happens every 1000 years” is bullshit.
    Try using any year with your age at that time.
    Barry Taylor should have been struck off years ago.
    Took $10,000. off a client to register a business logo and never did the job.

  5. Terry Who says:

    Don’t know if you noticed it but the Mooney St. repair job might not be as good as first thought. In the Bully online video clip they council workers were pouring the new concrete footpath without any reinforcing. How long do you think that’s going to last. 12-24 months before it starts breaking up.

  6. upagumtreeperson says:

    Loved the pic about six bananas Makes one wonder about the intelligence of sub-editors if they even exist. Or was that meant to be the page for number six! Should confuse the little darlings no end!

    • saltydog says:

      we used to say the sub in sub-editor stood for subnormal

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie has to disagree with that sentiment, real sub-editors saved the old bird’s cloaca many a time over the years. But then, as said, they were real subs because they were solely there to that skilled job and not called on to do a dozen other tasks, like reporting, photography, re-write to suit the advertising department for length and many of the other tasks Rupert now requires them to ‘multi-skill’ to save a bob or two … the real cost across all mastheads is credibility.

        Here’s one small example from a couple of days ago that begs the question why anything written in the Bulletin should be believed.
        “The full report is expected to be released in the coming weeks around the same time as the Halls Gates Dam feasibility study.”

        Hells bells!!!

  7. One legged tap dancer says:

    After almost a week of drip feeding stories on the mysterious Alva Beach deaths, the Townsville Bulletin has been shown up by its sister publication the Sunday Mail.
    Story on page 33 of today’s SM reveals some important and sensational details of the tragedy that the Bully either failed to discover, or covered up.
    Today we were told that:
    – the young woman involved in the incident described the men bashing on the door trying to get to her as “bad people”
    – she had been “pushed off” a four-wheeler on the beach and chased by “drunken men”
    – the police officer who took the 000 call from the house owner Dean Webber was the “sole officer at the Ayr Police Station at the time and said he had people in the cells and could not leave and told Webber to “see how it goes”
    – Webber redialled 000 and kept the line open until police came almost 50 minutes later and the goings on were recorded by the operator
    – there were three men who stormed the house, not just the two who died from stab wounds
    – after Webber and the young woman cowered in the darkness as the men went around the house, yelling threats, bashing on security screens and kicking the doors, the three men left but returned minutes later with “a bigger group of men, as many as six or seven”
    – investigators are now interviewing the third mystery man
    The story goes on to describe in detail the thuggery of the home invaders, all recorded from the 000 call.
    So Jenna Cairney (Bully editor), which one is it?
    Incompetence or a cover up?
    Hopefully they will catch up on Monday, but don’t count on it.

  8. upagumtreeperson says:

    I wish we had daylight saving. When you want to ring someone in Melbourne at 10pm local time it’s actually 11pm in Melbourne. When I came to Townsville 30 years ago people told me that daylight saving would fade the curtains, kids would not get to sleep at night and it would stuff up the milking times for cattle. We should have DST because of interstate business and because it would save airlines and radio and TV channels having to record and replay programs one hour later. Must be a pain at Tweed Heads. Bring on Daylight Saving, I say! Queensland is one hour and one hundred years behind the rest of Australia. I wrote a letter about DST to the Astonisher some time ago and some bogon rang me at home and abused me. I have not written another letter to the Astonisher since except one letter that said do not ring me at home because I live in a country of free speech. Don’t we?

    • Concerned says:

      Well I say lets Foff daylight savings from the east coast of Australia.

      • The Magpie says:

        And while you’re here, do tell us about your theory that plastic is good for the ocean, why Aaron Harper is the greatest politician since Gough, why the Astonisher is the world’s number one paper and and how you’ll be voting for Mayor Mullet next time around.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed we do, and The Magpie isn’t concerned to make a stand on this one … the issue of DS in Qld is a case of the tail wagging the dog … it would not only be beneficial in the south-east corner but all along the coast to the Cape, if we are to believe the hype that we are the country’s premier tourist destination AND The Smart State which encourages business. DS not one whit of difference to our biggest industry, mining. The tail wagging this dog is the small part of the population in the agricultural community to the west … and maybe they have a point about the inconvenience to them, but it is no more than that – people adjust very quickly, as they have around the world, it is just that Queensland harbours a self-interested rump of reactionaries who purposely and wilfully display the Joh brand of ignorance in order to get their way (as in influence politicians – the gays knew how to do it, and good on ‘em, perhaps the pro-DSers could get some tips from them). If this government had the guts to act on majority wishes, and whack in DS, the kerfuffle would be over within a year or two, as people realised how damaging being out of step with the dreaded southerners is self-defeating xenophobia. God knows, we need to encourage both tourism and business if we are to survive and thrive. n a nutshell … STOP BEING SELFISH, YOU TWITS.

      OK, that’s that, tune in next week when The ‘Pie will tackle the meaning of life. he ‘Pie will now retire to the fall-out shelter, he can hear the guns being loaded as he writes.

      • Concerned says:

        The question is why do we need DS in the first place, and if the answer is because they have it down south, WTF

        • The Magpie says:

          The xenophobic WTF is the clue … in business terms, if for no other reason, we should have DS precisely BECAUSE they have it down south. As much as Queenslanders like to posture as rugged individualists (all chorus ‘yes, Lord, we are all individualists”) a small group of people are willing to hold back the well being of the entire state because of their dependence on the Myth of Joh. And believe it or not, the original idea was a social one, so that families could better utilise available daylight and individuals would have more have availability to recreational activities.

          But hey no one’s gunna tell you what to do, eh? Doesn’t matter what it is or maybe its merits, not gunna let some southern bunch of poncey, latte sipping poofters tell us what to do (pause to spit)and do it just because you do.

          Come to think of it, Queensland looks good with no nose on its face.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Yeah! Remember the Queensland experiment well.
            Introduce DS for more leisure time. You come home from work and decide to go out in the garden to do some gardening, the you decide to have fish n chips or take away for dinner. Sorry all closed and didn’t adjust to DS hours. Bloody hopeless.

          • The Magpie says:

            Wow, no fish’n’chips … you’re right, phuck DS. Thank you for your insight, Joh.

          • NQGal says:

            The good citizens of Kentucky are able to work with two time zones in the same state. I’d like to report that it didn’t affect the quality of the bourbon.

          • The Magpie says:

            But what about the bad citizens?

          • Mike Shearer says:

            Why not be seriously original: let NSW and Vic have DS of only 30 mins, then Qld could meet them half way with 30 mins.

          • The Magpie says:

            Seriously, Mike?

          • The Magpie says:

            And if you think that’s complicated, spare a thought for these people that reader Mark Tarttelin came across.

          • The Magpie says:

            And if you think that’s complicated, spare a thought for others greatly affected by DS, as reader Mark Tarttelin discovered.

    • saltydog says:

      have you looked at your curtains recently?

  9. What water crisis? says:

    Acting Mayor Messagebank Walker is amazing he is going to give the community what we want, according to Les, we want the Ross Dam water to last longer, 18 months he guarantees! He is doing this with modified Level 2 restrictions, which are slug the ratepayer for full water allocation yet restrict sprinkler use, meanwhile turn most parks into oases. Our Les has superpowers he can stop the massive evaporation from Ross Dam. He would rather see it evaporate then let residents use it. Jenny and co would rather build a duplicate unproven pipe to Ross Dam where there is massive evaporation, than lobby federal gov for $225 million for stage 2 bypassing Ross Dam and pipe water directly to a new treatment plant. When this FRP pipe goes to shit in the future, where will Jenny and co be? Living the high life far far away from Townsville.

  10. Linda Ashton says:

    Oh dear Les
    It’s really frustrating when a local politician makes fuzzy technical statements about our most crucial infrastructure need – water security. WFTAG has spent countless hours sharing factual information with politicians and our membership.

    Cr. Walker is the Deputy Mayor and Interim Chairman for TCC Water and Waste. He has competent tech staff who can provide advice for media statement content. All they can do however is advise. Previously we made him aware of an error on his Division 10 site where he had mixed up the stage 1 and 2 Haughton pipeline projects. The error was removed but no correction made.

    In Saturday’s Bulletin, the issue was raised about ratepayers remaining on level 2 restrictions despite Ross Dam reaching 94% in March and still at 71%. Officially, level 2 should start at 40%. Council’s modelling set these restrictions in 2016. Nothing has changed since then.

    Today Les stated, “We heard (the community) last time. Just don’t leave it to the 10 and 20% (dam level) and down to level 4.”

    Two key points
    1. If the dam does drop to 15% before the first stage of the new pipeline is completed, there IS A PIPELINE and pump infrastructure already in place and operational. It’s what we’ve been using since 1988. It delivers up to 130ML per day so we can be on level 3 indefinitely.

    2. By keeping everyone on level 2 with only two days per week for sprinklers, there have been pretty obvious outcomes.
    • the city looks drier than ever – Brownsville.
    • dust levels have risen and fires have threatened some properties.
    • the pressure is so low in some suburbs during the peak watering hours that some sprinklers don’t operate.
    • some people are watering outside the set times when pressure is better so they can use their prepaid allocation.
    • some people have given up watering again and letting all plants die.
    • trees have not had deep root watering for so long now, making them more vulnerable in the cyclone season. 250,000 trees blew over in Yasi.
    • as reported in the paper last week consumption has spiked as the summer temps rise. Level 2 is set at 135ML per day. We’ve been going over 150ML per day in recent weeks. It’s not rocket science why.

    Allowing the official level 1 hours since March, would have spread the peak watering over more days, with better pressure and quicker delivery. As a result, overall consumption may have actually been less. From dam level 100% down to 40% the evaporation rate is on average, 170ML per day. That’s way more than our level 2 consumption. Perhaps allowing level 1 from 94% to 70% then level 2 from 70-20% would have eased the pain, without significantly increased consumption.

    Not sure what voices Cr. Walker was hearing but the majority of the population do know why we HAVE to wait until Ross Dam drops to 15% before pumping starts. It’s all about the topography and rate of evaporation. TCC has a useful video on this. (It does say however that 10% is the pumping trigger when it is 15%. It also says water comes from Burdekin Dam but it comes from the Haughton sector.) https://youtu.be/0PUfnJKkZQU

    Until Council releases a statement that clarifies what their meaning is for “long term water security” without this bench mark, using the terms loosely is not helpful. We need to understand what future restrictions will be and why – unlike the current “modified” level 2 which may not have achieved the intended goals. It’s not too late for some level 1 relief.

    • Concerned says:

      I am not sure if this is feasible, but one thing that farmers do when dams are dry is they remove silt and clean them out.
      With the dam being so shallow in parts and when the dam was as low as it was last time I was suprised you never heard council not letting contractors in to remove the build up of silt and to deepen the shallow parts of the dam.
      After all it is silt which is primarily top soil and I am sure that the large landscape companies would have been very interested in removing it.
      Just a thought.

      • Linda Ashton says:

        Concerned … we should be very concerned if a contract was let to dredge Ross Dam. The section would need to be bone dry. What do we use while this 12 month project takes place? If it rained … bogged vehicles on the clay base? It would take 10,000+ truckloads and might see rates increased a tad. A logistical nightmare that would not reduce the evaporation rate at all. Ross Dam has always been dual function. Rapid release of tropical deluges is its primary function and storage the secondary. It does the first really well and will remain our primary storage for the foreseeable future. Viewing the video link will show the topography and explains why pumping doesn’t start until the supply is pretty much confined to the deepest gully section ie 10-15%.

        • Concerned says:

          I think you are a bit short sighted and underestimate that capability of modern equipment.
          Every 10 m3 (1 Mdm truck) equals 10 000 lts and when the dam was at 15% for months on end, the majority of the catchment would have been capable of being worked upon and the numbers which could have been extracted would have been in the 1000,s of m3 each week ( every 1000m3 = 1 000 000 lts of added water storage and the deepening of the shallow sections to help reduce the effect of evaporation.
          The majority of this could have been on sold as fill or dressing soil.

          • Linda Ashton says:

            The dual function of the dam negates further modification. The $110 million upgrade in 2007 was essential as Ross Dam was deemed one of the most unsafe in the country. The wall was widened and strengthened and sleuce gates raised. Digging deeper would do two things
            • break the important clay seal which minimises seepage
            • reduce the effectiveness of the flood mitigation function.
            If digging deeper had been considered practical, affordable and safe it would have been included in the upgrade. the 8km wall raised.

            What digging wouldn’t achieve – reiterated – is reduction in evaporation which is chronic from 100% down to about 20%. At 70% now it loses 150-200ML per day depending on temperature and wind. Our level 2 consumption is supposed to be 135ML per day.


    • Dave Nth says:

      Over the weekend have done some repairs to my pop up sprinkler system, been idle for quite a few years now. after removing the blockages, completely new sprinkler heads the pressure struggles to run 3 heads when the circuits are 5 heads a piece. Before they were mothballed due to the water shortages the pressure comfortably ran all 5 heads. I am certain now that the water pressure & flows have been lowered. There can be no other reason why…

    • Mark Harvey says:

      Whilst I agree with Linda that we should not be on level 2, she has a few incorrect “facts”. The policy, which is available on the Council website, provides a table of trigger points which can be used to help make restriction decisions (ie they are not absolute).
      Level 1 comes in at 40% and Level 2 at 30%. There are no extra days in Level 1, just more hours on the watering days (mornings). If the table was followed, there would be no restriction above 40%.

      The Water Supply (S&R) Act sets conditions under which restrictions can be imposed – generally summed up as being when the available water supply has dropped to such a level that it is for the public good that it be restricted.

      Most Councils now go to permanent water saving measures when restrictions are not actually required – good practice rather than forced restriction so that they are not in breach of the Act.

      The issue with restrictions when the dam is full is that in a shallow dam the surface area drops quickly with level. By using less water the dam is higher and therefore it loses more to evaporation. It is literally use it or lose it. If the dam was shaped like a bucket then the evaporation would always be the same, so using less would actually save water.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Mark I think it was yourself that produced a presentation at the Australian Water Association conference a few years back, at Riverway from memory, about why Townsville charges for its water the way it does, an interesting presentation detailing evaporation and other losses, effectively if you don’t sell the stuff, it will evaporate anyway, particularly when storage is at that 40% plus level, it’s a shame some of these facts aren’t more readily available so everyone form our dickhead deputy Mayor and all the other armchair experts around this town might pause before making comment, or poor decisions.

        • Linda Ashton says:

          Mark Harvey I see no real differentiation in our statements. Whatever levels are set (and they’ve changed considerably, with harsher measures, in the last 4 years), the CEO can activate operational restrictions. These are in place now overturning the information on tcc’s website and the official levels you’ve listed. Even if the new pipeline was gold-plated, future councils, with CEO confirmation, could implement further changes for whatever reason and the golden infrastructure might remain new indefinitely. If imposition of level 2 since 94% is justified there are some questions to be asked about the 2014 modelling which we’d assume factored in extended drought. Level 1 as is currently described might be a thing of the past despite te completion of the new pipeline. Without a definition for water security that ratepayers can understand, there’s little opportunity to challenge what is imposed if it seems unfair. Use it or lose is precisely why we’ve lost rather than made best use of the topped up supply.

          • No more dredging says:

            Linda, you wrote: “If imposition of level 2 since 94% is justified there are some questions to be asked about the 2014 modelling which we’d assume factored in extended drought.” Seems risky to ‘assume’ anything these days.

            Maybe in 2014 we didn’t really know what “extended drought” meant for Townsville’s water supply – certainly for the cost to ratepayers of pumping from the Haughton which is portrayed, rightly or wrongly, as a major impost. Mark Harvey’s comment that: “Most Councils now go to permanent water saving measures when restrictions are not actually required” – seems like a common sense response i.e. it makes sense to the average punter that if you want the water in the dam to last then show some restraint in using it.

            I wonder if any of the studies have revealed what the likely cost of pumping via the new 1.8m pipeline will be? If we had some idea what those costs looked like we might be less inclined to slacken off water restrictions. At least we have a back-up water supply, unlike those cities that have had to build desalination plants that ultimately lay idle for years on end with outrageous maintenance costs.

      • Guy says:

        With regards to dam evaporation , i would say this…

        Its true we could use more water but it would mean the dam gets emptied faster

        Lets say we had a container holding 1Gl of water, for arguments sake, each day it loses 100Ml of water to evaporation regardless ( the dam is mostly shallow for most of its area ). After 10 days all the water in the container has mostly evaporated save for a small, deeper section

        If we use 100Ml on top of evaporation then the container gets emptied twice as fast ( the container loses 200Ml a day) and is emptied on the fifth day. After the fifth day water is now pumped into the container at great cost.

        The reason they want to restrict water use is…. the dam empties slower meaning less chance to pump at cost from the burdekin; less water being used; less mechanical wear; less chemical use, less power use to treat water and also it creates greater chance of rain before pumping occurs.

        The other factors could be keeping the floor of the dam wet rather than dry as long as possible( maybe this makes it more watertight for when rain eventually falls?).

        We are in el nino now i believe meaning australia could be looking at a prolonged drought.

        The faster we use the water in the dam the more money the council has to pay. If we recycled water the amount of water being used from the dam would decrease radically.

  11. Lady Byron says:

    Just wondering Pie if you have a court date for your stoush with Mr. K.?

    Just so I can be there to cheer you on. No doubt a few other commenters of this blog may care to join me? I wonder if Miss Lou would care to attend?

    This whole saga makes me angry. How dare this miscreant pick on our bird!

    (I’ll be the one outside the court holding a flaming torch and a pitchfork.)

  12. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Where is Jenny?

  13. The Magpie says:

    Just in case you think we play hard ball in our political leadership roundabout here in Oz, things are far from genteel back in Old Blighty. The ‘Pie’s favourite columnist, Marina Hyde, wrote this in a piece covering the recently held Conservatives Conference over there.

    “There was a strong sense among MPs here that they are so very, very tired of Johnson that they can’t even be bothered being artful about it. “As far as I’m concerned,” Henley MP John Howell reflected, “Boris can just fuck off.” The Scottish Tories have launched a campaign to stop him becoming party leader, under the name Operation Arse. As one put it: “We called it that so we’d be clear who we were talking about.” Asked what the big challenge for the Tories was, the former minister Lord O’Neill judged: “I guess key people in this party have to stop being dickheads, really.”

    Change the names, and it won’t be long before we can use this paragraph here.

  14. Spooka says:

    Old Bazza ay, how the f***k has he avoided jail for so long, a dead set arseole, Christ I could tell some stories about this prick from the early 80’s till now, how the f**k this bloke has not been stitched up by now has me stuffed, must be his professions fellow snakes protecting him, a gutless pissant hiding behind the ability to abuse the fucked QLD judicial system . A spineless grub.

  15. Miss Lou says:

    Whenever Bazza is mentioned, a little bit of vomit comes up.

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.


    Miss Lou.

  16. Mike Douglas says:

    Kudos to the Pie for fact checking most comments prior to posting for discussion. If you want some intertainment have a look at the TRRA ( Townsville Residents Ratepayers Association ) Facebook page whose motto seems to be post often even if the comments are wrong and it’s ok because we are providing a community forum. A couple of their recent posts “Australia has the highest debt % to gdp in the world”, a quick fact check I got to d in the alphabet with 27 countries with higher % and gave up. Their conspiracy claim that T.CC hid the “ culture matters” review. Fact check, T.C.C. released the review and a quick google search it was available online . Kept the best to last, TRRA knows what’s going on in the Townsville economy, Australian Economy and World. Fact check, if this was right, wouldn’t the writer be a billionaire because they would have got into bit coin when it was low and sold at a high. Social media does provide an opportunity for interaction and good luck to them but can TRRA claim they represent Townsville ratepayers?. Are they a registered association as their name would suggest?.

  17. The Owl says:

    Before he was booted off the Cowboys board he used to go down to the dressing sheds after they won a game and big note himself. If they lost he was nowhere to be seen. The players couldn’t stand a bar of him and referred to him as Big Mouth Bazza.

    • Alex DeLarge says:

      There was an unsubstantiated, although persistent, rumour of some Cowboys player slamming bazza’s forhead into the tiles in a toilet in a local nightclub and left him prone in the urinal.

      Late 90’s, I believe.

  18. The Magpie says:

    Christ, doesn’t he ever learn? It is clear that Messagebank Walker should not be allowed out and about without a minder … and a ball gag for his gob.

    Fresh from suggesting that angry Mooney Street retailers ‘just loved’ that the council was finally correcting the cock-up of a botched footpath job – essentially making ratepayers pay twice for the one piece of work, and then suggesting council jobs like this were ‘creating jobs for locals’ – today we find this Goofy self-promoter telling the same, patently absurd lie.

    Speaking about a footy carnival for oldies coming to town next year, this leadership luminary told the Astonisher:
    “There will be more than 2500 people flocking to Townsville to take part in the event and that means more spending in our hotels, restaurants and shops. Council fights to secure these major events for Townsville because they help boost business and create jobs for locals.”
    Fortunately. he ran on too long for the allocated space in the print version, and this titbit of prize crap was cut off the end.

    If council fights so hard for these events (it doesn’t) what the hell is Lil Patty O’Callaghan of the Dudley Do Nothings doing for her featherbedded job? Isn’t this TEL’s bailiwick, supposedly using ratepayers annual donation for such activities? Or are you admitting that that the TCC uses Labor make-work policies to double up on everything?

    BUT THE BIGGEST LIE IS THE LAST – answer this Goofy – what jobs will be ‘created for locals’ by this carnival?

    Hint: the answer is the same as the number of clues you have … none.

  19. One legged tap dancer says:

    The Townsville Bulletin finally caught up with the story in yesterday’s Sunday Mail, investigated and written by a journalist from Brisbane, and reprinted the story this morning. So its official – the failure of the Bully to publish the whole story can be put down to incompetence and not a cover up.
    Today editor Jenna Cairney has missed the boat again.
    In the Legal Notices section of her own paper an advertisement revealed that Airservices and the Department of Defence are implementing changes to the flight path for arriving and departing flights at Townsville Airport:
    (Note that there is a link you can use to lodge a complaint if you are going to be impacted)
    You would think that everyone in Townsville would be interested in these changes, which will result in significant increases in aircraft noise for some suburbs.
    But not a word in the news section of the paper.
    The editor obviousl;y doesn’t read her own paper – or is there another reason why the story hasn’t been covered?
    Hopefully after reading about it in the Magpie blog she will catch up with it tomorrow – as usual.

    • Kirwan Joe says:

      I must be missing something.
      Apart from entering the flight path a little further south (where there’s bugger all population) I can’t see much change.
      Please explain

    • Water Water Everywhere says:

      Disabled Dancer, Did you actually click on the link and read what is proposed??

      “You would think that everyone in Townsville would be interested in these changes, which will result in significant increases in aircraft noise for some suburbs.”

      Minor impact on the ‘suburb’ of Pinnacles, for less than 10 planes per day?

      I get that one wants to be edgy and catch people out, but this is just good old fashioned dog whistling.

      I for one would like my plane to be able to use a satellite guided approach in inclement weather…

      P.S. Linda, trees are more susceptible to falling after prolonged wet periods as a water logged soil has less structural integrity.

      P.P.S. Linda, really? Pumping indefinitely? Might want to reign in the grandiose language, makes you more believable.

      P.P.P.S. Mark H., it would have helped if the current water restrictions policy would have a cessation level for restrictions rather than just an implementation level. Oversight?

      • The Magpie says:

        Cripes, all the PPS’s … poor old Water Water Everywhere but true to your name, you’re obviously incontinent.

      • Grumpy says:

        Linda may act like a Royal Higness, but she does not not have to “reign in” her language, Maybe “rein in” – as in pulling on those leather thingies to make a horse stop or slow down.

        Unwanted and probably unappreciated tip – “reign”, with a “g” – for King George, who reiGned.

      • Mark Harvey says:

        In reply to the WWE PPPS – the trigger table is a guide for commencement and cessation of restrictions. No oversight! Policies are not made prescriptive where it can be avoided. If you are on level 3 and the dam rises to 21% you do not want to have to go back to level 2 for a week! I seem to recall that exactly that situation arose during the drought.
        Of course the current level 2 restrictions were imposed with no apparent regard to that table.

    • saltydog says:

      Of course she doesn’t. The wily old Magpie knows as well as any of us that the days of the old eagle (magpie-eyed) reporter are long gone.

  20. The Magpie says:

    OK start your stopwatches … see how long it takes for the Bulletin to jump onto this pointless and trivial click-bait beat-up.

    And please … don’t bother here unless it’s really clever, don’t want to clog up the works with News-inspired idiocy. Oh wait a minute ,,, isn’t that what this blog is all about? Hmmm….

    • seagull says:

      & while we do that ….lets see if the bullsheet ever runs this one….

      Australia and the rest of the world must virtually eliminate the use of coal for electricity within 22 years if there is to be a chance to save even some of the Great Barrier Reef, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned.

    • No more dredging says:

      Speaking of media idiocy, in the Courier Mail over the weekend there was a beat-up about how regional real estate has recovered and prices are on the up:

      “Property prices have risen as much as 40 per cent in just 12 months in some areas, while towns like Emerald have bottomed and now join Mackay, Cairns, Townsville and Gladstone in the recovery phase of their market cycle, according to valuer Herron Todd White.”

      Which would be terrific news for Townsville investors and other punters, especially those thinking of moving on. But when it came to the specifics the article went on:

      “According to the REIQ, Townsville’s house price fell 3.3 per cent over the year to June to an annual median of $324,000, but local agents are reporting considerable activity with transfers coming into town.”

      So Townsville is in a recovery phase but prices are falling – which probably explains why there is “considerable activity”. Who makes this stuff up?

  21. No more dredging says:

    ‘Pie, thought you might enjoy this little grenade from Guy Rundle in today’s Crikey about the Opera House horse race advertising hoo ha:

    “In the meanwhile, and in parallel, the advertising should be mass disrupted. Unions should green ban it in the first instance; Opera House staff should refuse to co-operate. Angry Sydneysiders are already planning a “light-based” protest on Tuesday. There must be multiple ways to screw this up. Wouldn’t it be great if they all happened? Now that would put that ridiculous steel prison toilet of a city on the map once more.”

  22. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Page 2 of the Astonisher lists four iconic Queensland spots vying for a place in the “seven wonders of Australia”
    They are using that word (again) just to annoy me.

    • The Magpie says:

      Funnily enough, they are correct on at least one … it is correct that the Great Barrier Reef is ‘iconic’ in the modern sense of the word.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Yeah, to use the modern words for agreement, “yeah, fully sick bro”.

      • No more dredging says:

        ‘Pie, one lapse and the landslide starts. The iconic Tony Raggatt is on the case today:

        “CITY leaders have backed the use of Castle Hill for light shows but at least one councillor says he wouldn’t like to see the iconic landmark used for advertising.”

  23. Dave Nth says:

    Brisbane airport is starting to tick me off as bad as Townsville. The single runway they knew should have been duplicated & in operation 3 years ago that has had me in holding patterns sometimes up to nearly the flight time from where I departed from.

    Last night a storm front (not uncommon for spring) set everything back hours including missing my connection because they couldn’t move the aircraft quick enough after the delay. Just made my accommodation in western Sydney due to the desk closing up at midnight & daylight saving loss of an hour both comfortably accounted for but ended up being stretched… Yet they are demolishing 2 perfectly good stadiums here for AUD200Mil to build new ones… Know airports are now private entities but we seriously have our infrastructure priorities wrong in this country!

    Ahhh glad that is off my chest… Gives me a reality check sometimes, Townsville isn’t the only city afflicted by official mediocrity…

  24. Pat Coleman says:

    2 stories on political donors by Tony Raggatt in today’s business section 10/10/18.

    You have a story on Paynter Dixon for work on a Townsville hospital tender. Go to http://www.democracyforsale.net/search-aec/ and type in Paynter. Go to their site and see how many government tenders they got http://www.paynter.com.au .

    The other is a story on PVW Partners . Greg Peel and Carl Valentine who were donors at the last council election. PVW used to be PWC in Townsville who were linked by being “care of” PWC for Richard Ferry’s donations in early 2000’s . Ferry pushed and donated hard for Rocky Springs and made a killing.


  25. Dutch Reverend says:

    So Messagebank is acting Mayor at present. Where’s Jenny ? One can only hope she is off being measured up for a dressing gown before her next appearance before the media.

  26. The Magpie says:

    Memo Iditor Jenna Cairney:
    Always best to read the story before writing the headline. This one is clearly at odds with the story, and missing a good old scare-the-pants-off-the-blue-rinse-set beat-up.

    In the wake of the outcry over advertising on Sydney’s Opera House sails, Townsville Deputy Goof, Les Messagebank Walker has left the door open for similar light show advertising on the face of Castle Hill.

    He refused point blank to rule out the possibility when asked by the Bulletin if the council would oppose any such application. He told the paper: ‘… the council would take everything on board and make a decision on merit. I’m not going to get involved in what ifs,” Cr Walker said.” A shining example of your leaden leadership.

    Sorry, Goofy, but here’s a newsflash …you ARE in the BUSINESS of ‘whats ifs’ … it’s called politics, you twit. Like what if we build a stadium in the CBD but what if we don’t attach a sensible entertainment/convention centre to the project, what if we suddenly decide, on the advice of some ill informed southern blow-ins on the make, that a lagoon on the Strand is now a priority.? Etc etc … you really are a fucking idiot, Les.

    Christ mate, just wait until the Mullet gets you inn a darkened room … oh, wait a minute, this is probably a cunning plan of hers, to spike any coup attempt by you. Mission achieved, only those with a lobotomy would vote you another term.

    By the way, where is she? More importantly, wherever it is, are we in danger of her returning?

    • Achilles says:

      Another in the pipeline article in the TB site. A proposed mini golf course to attract tourists. Yep where will the water for such a pie in the sky brain fart come from?

  27. Gull says:

    I know I’m peeing in your pocket old bird but every major regional centre needs a Magpie blog. Especially the Gold Coast where I am now. Left T’ville in 2012 but still follow your musings avidly. And as an ex Bully journo and having worked on and off for old Rupe for the best part of 40 years it’s fascinating to see how the NewsCorp ‘culture ‘ pervades every corner of our land. The names might change but the iditors all sing from the same song sheet. Keep it up ol’

    • No more dredging says:

      Gull, there was a story in the SMH a day or two ago about movements on the NewsCorp chess board, including that of the ‘Pie’s favourite iditor, Ben English:

      “The Australian’s editor-in-chief, Paul Whittaker, has left the national newspaper to join News Corp’s Australian News Channel in a shake-up of the Murdoch press. Former managing director and chief executive of Australian News Channel, Angelos Frangopoulos, left the role recently to head Sky News Arabia. An email from News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said Mr Whittaker, a multiple Walkley award winner who was previously an editor of The Australian and The Daily Telegraph, had had a 30-year career at News Corp, with 12 years spent as a senior daily newspaper editor. The Daily Telegraph editor Christopher Dore will be the new editor-in-chief of The Australian. Mr Dore was formerly editor of the Courier-Mail and The Sunday Times. Gold Coast Bulletin editor Ben English will move into the role of editor at The Daily Telegraph, while Courier-Mail deputy editor Rachel Hancock will become editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin. Ms Hancock is a former editor of NT News. Mr Miller said Mr English was “returning to the newspaper where he began his career and spent more than 20 years working across all areas of the paper, including as news editor, UK correspondent and senior roles of assistant editor and deputy editor”.

      • Grumpy says:

        Malcolm – is English’s fairly constant movements over the last 2-3 years indicate an advancement, sideways slipping or “where the fuck do we put the idiot now?”?

      • Achilles says:

        Looks like the hand that wanks the captain, steers the ship.

        • Droopy draws says:

          One of the best I’ve heard in ages!!!

          • No more dredging says:

            There’s more in the Guardian today:

            “Reshuffling Ben and Boris
            The new editor of the Tele from Monday will be Ben English whose previous roles include editor of The Townsville Bulletin and the Gold Coast Bulletin. It is quite a leap from those two regional papers to the Sydney metropolitan tabloid so English has a lot to prove.

            “To now have the opportunity to lead this great paper in the city I grew up in is a huge honour and privilege,” English told News Corp.

            English has a reputation as a good solid journalist and was UK correspondent for the Tele as well as news editor, assistant editor and deputy editor.

            He does appear to have what it takes to be a Murdoch editor, calling into question the independence of the ABC in an interview with Paul Murray on Sky this week. It’s “damning” that a third of Australians don’t trust the ABC, he said and makes a mockery of claims the ABC is unbiased.”

          • The Magpie says:

            hahahaha … and the other two thirds don’t trust News Corp papers. Particularly the Tele (and of course, our own Daily Astonisher).

  28. J jones says:

    Water debate
    Daylight saving debate
    Jenny Hill
    Snooze fest

  29. The Owl says:

    The T’ville Bulletin is still rolling out the free plugs for the Mater Hospital as part of its advertising “package”
    Today’s big news on page 6 informs readers of a major milestone in the Mater’s $52 million upgrade.
    Wait for it……”the installation of a crane on site”.
    FFS they really do think we’re all idiots.
    What’s next, the arrival of a truck carrying building materials?

  30. Mike Douglas says:

    The Chorus from Townsville businesses gets louder as they simply can’t fill jobs including receptionist, labourers, warehouse staff, stop n go people, kitchen hands. Employers are feed up with unemployed people admitting they are attending the interview to comply with Newstart and based on the fact with all their allowances including rental assistance the job only pays an extra $60 a week so they are not interested. Instead of using their time to retrain and reskill many of the older unemployed find it much more fun being keyboard warriors on other social media sites trashing any positive announcements in the Ville. Do they not realise that employers look at people’s social media posts before selecting interview candidates and what business wants a perennial negative Nellie effecting their culture.

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh, dear, no hope for the Magpie to gain useful employment then, given his predilection for trashing any positive announcements on the flimsy grounds that they are political campaigning bullshit. (Water crisis, what water crisis? there isn’t a water crisis. But have we got a battery factory for you!)

    • No more dredging says:

      “Chorus”, what chorus? You reckon that businesses looking for “receptionist, labourers, warehouse staff, stop n go people, kitchen hands”, can’t find any starters – which sounds pretty unlikely. But maybe you actually mean businesses that want a government-subsidised worker – you know, you take someone dragged from the dole queue by a labour hire contractor, pay them a pittance + a few bucks from the Feds, and then bitch and moan about red tape, about poor training, about lack of skills, poor attitude etc. Bring on the shrieking whiners, there’s a vacancy in the sopranos.

      • Grumpy says:

        My God, NMD – second time in a row I agree with you – is it that you are coming around to my way of thinking?

        Mike D – I have daily contact with small businessmen. They are more worried about getting a cash flow sufficient to pay their existing workers. They tell me that, when they advertise for an unskilled worker position, they are inundated with applications – the vast majority of which are absolutely genuine. One fellow mentioned that he got 250+ applications for a junior clerical position.

        So far as the social media posts are concerned, if you are too dumb to set your security setting, then you are too dumb for a job here, sunshine.

        Personally, I am more concerned about the ICE epidemic. Fix that and we will fix many other problems besetting Townsville.

        • Woodduck says:

          To late to fix the Ice problem Grumps, that shit has well and truly cemented its place through out the North Queensland regions. Have seen it in most places I’ve visited over the past few years,Batten down the hatches, it’s going to get a lot worse, and so is the crime.

      • Mike Douglas says:

        No more dredging, just a few facts . Incentives are only available for the long term unemployed so most businesses will focus on people that have been seen to be motivated and active. You do realise most businesses moved to online recruitment years ago and don’t use the astonisher?. I gather you checked the jobs available online before you hit the keyboards suggesting employers milk the system.

        • No more dredging says:

          Mike, refer to Grumpy. No, I didn’t look at the vacancy ads. I get calls (probably) weekly from people looking for work – and I don’t mean people on the dole trying to appease Centrelink. I’m still wondering about the “chorus”. Are you hearing ‘voices’ or something?

          • Mike Douglas says:

            No more Dredging, yes I saw Grumpys response and his status is based on one business and adding you that’s two. So based on two businesses there isn’t an issue for the hundreds of others. Did you two do the market research for the bi election weekend predicting lnp wins because you spoke to two people. I gather the companies paying for ads for truck drivers, cooks, retail staff, admin assistants, 1 st year apprentice, security staff, compactor operator, food + beveridge attendants and that’s just with seek and not the other employment agencies just want to throw their $ away and waste their time.

          • No more dredging says:

            Mike, you wrote about a “chorus” and I responded to your observation. Where were you when you heard this chorus? Were you in the street outside some business? Were you sitting at home on the computer putting two and two together? Because frankly, I don’t believe you. I don’t believe there is a chorus. I think you’re making stuff up.

          • Grumpy says:

            Mike – you been on the unicorn piss again? I said that I have daily contact with small businessMEN – ie more than one – and I am including the sheilas I deal with. It’s part of what I do for a crust.. They range from 5 employee building firms to businesses valued at well over $100M. I can assure you that none of them complain about the lack of avaialable labour (except, perhaps, in the highly specialised fields) or have difficulty in filling jobs. Some – most – are more concerned about the poor standard of literacy of the products of our current school system. There is NO shortgage of skilled or unskilled labor at the present time. However, if current conditions continue, we may find the labour shift away to the north and south may well drain the pool.

            Just because there are jobs on Seek does not mean there is a “chorus” of employers who say they can’t fill jobs.

            NMD – want to go out on a date?

          • No more dredging says:

            Grumpy, put an ad in Seek.

          • Grumpy says:

            I did – and got 250+ replies. Mind you, I used Malcolm’s photograph.

          • The Magpie says:

            You idiot, that wasn’t Seek, that was Tinder, where the seeking is of a different nature. But The ‘Pie is having a ball, among other things.

          • No more dredging says:

            Grumps, you work through those replies – there might be a gem in there. Even include Magpie and Miss Lou to sort out the riff raff. When you’re done, I’ll consider a place on your short list. Don’t get your hopes up though. I might be one of those grubs that Cantankerous doesn’t like (although frankly, I suspect that even he/they/her likes to get down and dirty from time to time).

  31. Kirwan Joe says:

    Townsville council to improve hard rubbish kerbside collection scheme

    A FREE hard waste collection service operated by Townsville City Council is being improved after complaints from the public claimed the city’s streets were looking like dumps.

    Not sure how FREE it is. Somehow I reckon I’m paying (my share of $1.1m actually). Handy hint for next time Mr Walker – scrap the kerbside collection and give me back my dump vouchers.

    • The Magpie says:

      Now Now Joe, don’t be churlish, that nice Mr Walker says he is listening to what the community is saying, so you will surely be heard, along with the majority of ratepayers who want their dump vouchers back. But we can’t expect poor old Messagebank to do all the thinking – or any of it – so keep those ideas coming, because he hasn’t got any of his own … except a wave pool which has now morphed into a money sink hole fresh water lagoon.

  32. Kingswood says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I havent seen a single thing in the astonisher about the Ravenswood 150 years event last weekend. Over 1000 in town, hotels and campground full, parade, fireworks, ABC was there and 7 news etc. Even Bob Katter was there dressed up in period gear holding the Eureka flag.The gold found there in 1868 helped cement Tsv when it was only 3-4 years old, yet not a peep. Yet todays front page mentions a new gold mine out west…go figure.

  33. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    A sad indictment on the state of the Townsville economy when the opening of a new Salvo thrift shop is headline making news for the online Astonisher…..

  34. Gull says:

    Mmm that editors reshuffle… can’t paper over the cracks, no pun intended

  35. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Wow! Who would have thought! Even the Councillors are pleasantly surprised when TCC ‘listens’…….

    This from today’s Astonisher about the right mess-up TCC made with the proposed Magnetic Island SES relocation.

    “Cr Ann-Maree Greaney welcomed the about-face .

    “It’s good to see we have actually listened to what the locals have said on the island and taken that feedback on board,” Cr Greaney said. “

    • The Magpie says:

      Miracles yet remain to cease … we now have an all inclusive council sensitive to those (that’s us, for our sins) who keep their well-upholstered overpaid arses on the council plush … only a cynic would suggest that they’ve suddenly realised the gravy train is fast approaching the next station where several of their number will be turfed onto the platform because the train driver has run out of steam.

  36. Honkers says:

    This confirms (again) just how out of touch from reality the Bullsheet is …. here’s what the Iditor is saying: “it’s fair to say for a lot of people this year didn’t quite deliver on expectations.”

    Actually, it did deliver exactly as expected for those not blinded by the inability to see past the nonsense, obfuscation, baloney and downright untruths coming from the Gormless Gang at Walker St and the bluff and blunder of the Dudley Do Nothings …

  37. The Magpie says:

    From the Astonisher today, which this week brought news of a dam at Hall’s Gates …

    “Mr Crisafulli said Townsville was being punished for a problem that wasn’t there’s to begin with.”

    Worry not, oh, Kid, the Bulletin heres you, and says here here, so their their their, don’t get upset.

  38. Cantankerous but happy says:

    That Tanya Plebercyk was on the red eye yesterday morning out of Townsville, she took a very long trip to the toilet, apparently to do the makeup, in there that long that a couple got tired of waiting and wondered down to the toilets at the back, just fucking selfish I thought to myself but perhaps I was being a bit harsh, maybe she was multi tasking.

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh Cranky Pants, you’ve got the hots for Plibbers!!! … you randy old goat, is that why you’ve got your panties in a bunch over nothing.

      • Grumpy says:

        Ah, Cranky, lust all you want, but you have probably not got the necessary attributes that turn chubby Plibbers on – like a criminal history for selling drugs to kids.

        • I'll be plucked says:

          WTF Grumpy re ‘Plibbers’ – please explain???

          • Grumpy says:

            Check out CPOC’s history.

          • The Magpie says:

            Don’t bother checking, allow The ‘Pie to give a quick over-view. Plibbers met her husband to be when he was doing time in Sydney’s Silverwater Jail for some pretty serious drug dealing … don’t know how that meeting came about but it did, they fell for each other, he uses the rest of his time paying his debt to society to study diligently, gets out, they get married, have a family, he remains reformed, and eventually … no doubt with some political help … gets a job with the NSW government (Labor at the time) and moves up in the world to become a well respected top bureaucrat. Some folks like to sling this ‘jail bird’ circumstance about as a negative against Plibbers, but The ‘Pie sees it as a real life story of redemption. In fact, isn’t this EXACTLY the outcome we would like to see in most cases where rehabilitation is attempted? Of course, all attempts at this sort of redemption may work out just as successfully, if they all had the enticement of someone like Plibbers waiting at the bedroom door on release.

            The ‘Pie hopes he never has to try it … with his luck, he’d get Bronwyn Bishop as his prison visitor. But at least, given the history of Silverwater, she’d know how to organise a helicopter to aid an early release.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Yes, you caught me out, I have never had a run with a rampant commo before (that I know of) , but as Grumpy points out I am probably wasting my time, despite some of the questionable things I have done in my life I cant compete with the sort of grubs that she likes.

  39. Scotty says:

    So why is it that those working on a certain solar project, staying at a certain Bowen Rd motel all have Asian names?

  40. Lesley Jogger says:

    On a lighter note, how good was it to see some rain and storm overnight?

  41. Critical says:

    Apparently ladies who work at night also stay at certain Bowen Rd motels.

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